Rummaging through a bin at a Pasadena postcard show in 1996, I found an envelope postmarked in Hartford, Conn. in 1917. Inside were two letters.

Letter from Sylvia to Calvin.

Envelope postmarked March 17, 1917 in Hartford, Conn. Addressed to: Mr. Calvin W. Gamble, 43 Yale Station, New Haven Conn. The letter reads:

                                                                           Hartford, Conn. Mar. 14

My dear Mr. Gamble:
                                    A very dear girl friend of mine was over last evening to see me. I was showing her the things in my "Hope Chest" and she thought they were beautiful. She said she would like to be in my place - that is, engaged to be married.

                                   Now, then - this girl is 19 years old and is a sweet little thing. She said she would like to marry a man about your age (23 I believe n'est ce pas?) She is about 5 feet 2 inches tall but just adores tall men. She thinks 5 feet 10 inches is the ideal height of a man. You two would look very well together. She weighs about 105 lbs and is small you see. The man she marries must weigh between 170 and 180 pounds - heavy enough to lean against if she feels faint - so she says. I regret that I cannot enlighten you with her name in this letter, but if you would care to correspond with her I will introduce you by mail as soon as I hear from you.

                                   Maintenant she knows nothing of this, but was merely confiding in me -the way girls do you know. I thought of you first - you would be my choice for her. She loves horses and boating, also swimming, and can converse on telegraphy, wireless, etc. Please write soon - she is lovely and adores "Yale Boys."
                                                                                                      Sylvia Silvan

Letter from Calvin to Sylvia in response.

The second letter in the envelope bore an embossed blue shield with the words "LUX ET VERITAS" above and below a book with Hebrew letters (a version of the Yale coat of arms). The letter reads:

My dear Miss Silvan

         Your most interesting letter of March 14 was received this evening.
         Do you know, I believe there must be something in mental telepathy for it was only last Sunday evening that I was discussing with a friend of mine what my ideal of a wife is, and from what you write of your girl friend she is exactly what I believe to be the most wonderful creature in the world - the woman I have dreamt about for the past few years.

          Little did I believe or even imagine that my heart's desires would be realized so soon. Of course, there is the possibility that your friend and I are not meant for each other, but from what you say of her, provided if she is musical, I am sure that she is the girl I want as a wife: then too, she might object very strenuously to me but I do think that she ought to have the kindness to allow me to endeavor to win her heart.

            Looking forward to a very early reply from you, I am
                  Your most thankful servant,

                          Calvin W. Gamble

93 Yale Str.
New Haven Ct.
Mar. 17, 1917.

Now we ask, why was Calvin's quick response inside the envelope sent to him by his matchmaking friend Sylvia? One possibility is that after a good night's sleep, or a cold shower, Calvin never posted his reply. A more romantic suggestion is that the couple did indeed meet, were married, and kept these letters together for the rest of their lives as cherished mementos.

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